An advert’s sole purpose is to sell products, there’s not much around that. Years ago, this purpose came across unambiguously; an advert would essentially be ‘hey, look at our product. Please buy our product. Our product’s better than their shoddy product! Buy it. Please. I’ve got a family’. But now, in an age of ubiquitous adverts – when we’re on social platforms, when we’re watching television, when we’re riding a bus, when we’re watching top ten moments of 2007 X-Factor on YouTube – agencies invariably must do something to stand out, otherwise they’ll risk simply becoming another annoyance in someone’s day. Which is obviously not good for their image or their sales.
This need to stand out has mostly been fruitful. As a customer you get to see thought-provoking adverts; as an agency you get to be a bit more creative and out there with your campaigns. There’s more free roam with it, and as consequence, the whole process is more fun. Of course there have been some atrocities, as there always is when all companies attempt to stand out. Like, for example, Pepsi’s advert where Pepsi, through the medium of Kendall Jenner, suggest that to end all the hate in the world all one needs is a can of Pepsi. Can you believe we didn’t know that? Said ad did eventually get pulled at least. They may have a poor understanding of what constitutes a thought-provoking advert, but at least they’re not stubborn, right?
Here at Media Street, we believe that one of the most effective routes to make a standout campaign is to be self-aware, perhaps even tongue-in-cheek with your content. For example, O2’s screen repair ‘oops’ campaign that is currently running. In a historical context, as explored in the opening paragraph, O2 would simply divulge the fact that they now reward their loyal customers with screen repair. However, in this age, as is required to stand out, they decided to mix it up. And they have done so elegantly.
O2’s ‘oops’ campaign is a multifaceted one – it includes a social video, billboards, Instagram adverts, tweets, and even a Snapchat filter. Every single one of these concepts are self-aware and precise in their execution. On Twitter, they’ve posted videos such as 5 Stupid Ways To Crack Your Phone and their replies to tweets have been posted as a picture that makes you believe their phone screen is cracked.
They have billboards posted around London which at first glance may seem like a run-of-the-mill advert, but once again they appear as if they’re on a cracked screen. And their social video is a sequence of people dropping their phones. All these adverts feel fresh, creative, and most importantly, funny. They resonate with many as they break the mould and offer something new rather than blending in. This simply wouldn’t be possible in a more traditional format.
The good thing is that this self-aware approach doesn’t require a big budget or star pull, it doesn’t require time or effort, it’s pretty simple really; all it requires is a bit of creativity. As said earlier, there really is a big risk of your marketing content falling in the ‘boring’ branch of the world nowadays – the last thing you want for your advert to do is annoy or bore your potential customer with the short snippet of time you get to impress. O2’s campaign is perfect, and the results are already being reaped. They’re on the tip of mosts’ tongue. So when you’re next devising your newest advert spend a quick thought on how you can mix up your content and really stand out. We know we will.